Booneville Junior High School has won a "Beating the Odds" Outstanding Educational Performance Award.

Each year the Office of Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas creates a report titled the Outstanding Education Performance awards highlighting the highest-performing schools in Arkansas based on the Benchmark and end-of-course exams.

The award plaque was presented to BJHS principal Scottie Pierce during last week’s school board meeting by school board president Bobby Cobb.

The awards are based on the OEP-created "school GPA" calculated on the basis of the percentage of students who perform at the advanced or proficient level on the test. A "Beating the Odds" award goes to high achieving schools classified as "high poverty," defined as 66 percent or more students receiving free or reduced lunch.

At BJHS 68 percent of students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program but 81 percent of students scored proficient or advanced on the math tests which, according to the OEP formula is a GPA of 3.04. As such Booneville tied for 18th in the state.

In literacy 83 percent of students hit the proficient or advanced level for a GPA of 3.22, which was tied for 17th.